…… It turns out that we’re no different from the wine-guzzling, food-noshing, party-loving Bird Nation. We too are easily fooled by charismatic politicians bearing gifts. And we too are easily distracted as those same politicians and their cohorts rob us blind.
Case in point: while Barack Obama winds down his presidency with a flurry of celebrity-studded events that is causing the media to hail him as the “coolest” president, and the presidential candidates continue to distract us with spectacular feats of chest-thumping, browbeating, and demagoguery, the police state continues its steady march onward.
All of the revelations of government wrongdoing, spying and corruption disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Nothing has improved or changed for the better.
There has been no real reform, no significant attempts at greater transparency, no accountability, no scaling back of the government’s warrantless, illegal domestic surveillance programs, and no recognition by Congress or the courts that the Fourth Amendment provides citizens with any protection against unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents.
In fact, as I point out in my book we’ve been subject to even more obfuscation, even more lies, even more sleight-of-hand maneuvers by government agencies determined to keep doing what they’re doing without any restrictions on their nefarious activities, and even more attempts by government agencies to listen to our phone calls, read our emails and text messages, monitor our movements, and generally imprison us within an electronic concentration camp……
(Full text at link below)
In other words, government spying isn’t making us safer, but it is making us less free. “In the end, we’ve lost part of our freedom that maybe we’ll never get back. We’ve lost some part of what makes our system great, but in the end, we’ve not really gained the security we thought we would get in the tradeoff for the freedom that we’ve given up.”
At the end of the day, these people work for the government and their primary purpose is to remain in office, living the kind of rarefied, pampered, privileged life that the average American only gets to dream about. Every one of the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who voted for this legislation is a traitor to their oath of office and should be booted off that committee. What’s more, any member of Congress who votes for this legislation should be sent packing back to where they came from. As Brewster Kahle, another recipient of an NSL who successfully challenged the government’s gag order, reminds us, “The government is not one monolithic thing. It’s a bunch of people, they’re doing their jobs.” It’s our job to make them toe the line when their thinking goes awry.
In our politically correct, feel-good, play nice culture, anger has gotten a bad rap, but there’s something to be said for righteous anger acted upon in a nonviolent, effective fashion. It’s what Martin Luther King Jr. referred to as “military nonviolent resistance.” It means caring enough to get off your caboose, get on your feet and get actively involved in holding government officials accountable to the simple fact that they work for “we the people.”
It’s not an easy undertaking.
The government has been playing fast and loose with the rules for too long now, and its greed for power and riches is boundless.
Still we are not powerless, although the government’s powers grow daily. We have not yet been altogether muzzled, although the acts of censorship increase daily. And we have not yet lost all hope for restoring our republic, although the outlook appears bleaker by the day.
For the moment, we still have some small allotment of freedoms by which we can express our displeasure, push back against injustice and corruption, and resist tyranny. One Texas man, outraged at being fined $212 for driving 39 in a 30 mph zone, chose to pay his fine with 22,000 pennies. It was a small act of disdain in the face of a government machine that tolerates little resistance, but it was acts such as these that sowed the early seeds of resistance that birthed this nation.
As revolutionary patriot, Samuel Adams observed, “It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”